Darkness had once again fallen over the land as the moon rose high into the star speckled sky. Basking gentle moonlight over the rolling hills of Dral'n Dema. The Little Wizard watched over his master, as he did every night when the sun would go down, walking the borders of the castle to ensure that nothing would surprise him. Long blue robes hung down from his torso tied with a silver belt. A long pointed cap, covered in silver stars, moons, and suns sat squarely on his head. For decades his kind had been trusted with the protection of the royalty of Dral'n Dema. The powers that his race was blessed with was the only thing that could protect the royal family from the Stromen, the creatures of Un'berd Thede.
The little wizard was no stranger to the hideous creatures that remain in the shadows for the moment to strike. No one had really seen the true form of the Stromen. Completely fogged in black mist like a cloak of night giving only glimpses of their hidden body through the dark haze. The little wizard went over the information about the Stromen that had been beaten into his head since he was young. They live in the darkest parts of Un'berd Thede and survive off of fear and darkness. During the full moon the Stromen are at their weakest; likewise when the moon is hidden they are at their strongest. Unfortunately for the little wizard, tonight the clouds were moving in to blot out the light of the moon casting Dral'n Dema in darkness.
The little wizard checked his bag, once again, for the special weapon that he had made for a night just like this. Opening the leather flap, decorated with glyphs and runes, he revealed a multitude of glass balls filled with white powder. They were an invention of his that he had found were effective when battling the Stromen. His only regret was that he didn't have time to make more. The clouds moved in covering the land in a blanket of darkness. The little wizard called for more torches and to keep the castle well lit. The castle glowed like a beacon in the shadows. The little wizard stood at the wall his bright eyes peering into the night.
First would come the gnashing, like metal teeth grinding together in anticipation, then would come the thunder, hundreds of feet making the ground quake with their numbers, and finally they would see the wisps of shadow crawling into the light of the torches. The creatures in the shadows would test the walls by running and throwing themselves against the mortar and stone in an attempt to breach the walls.
As the first Stromen came into the light, the little wizard called upon the element of fire and gathered it in his hand. He hurtled the burning orbs again and again at the beasts, catching one on fire. The creature let out a screech of pain and ran off into the darkness, becoming only a gentle glow in the distance. The little wizard gave himself a moment of pride before hurling another burning ball at the Stromen.
A resounding boom and cracking wood brought the little wizard's attention to the main gate. Reaching into the small bag at his side he grabbed a few of the glass balls and rushed along the wall. Several of the larger Stromen were battering against the thick timber that barely held strong against the thundering force. The little wizard threw the glass balls letting them shatter on the hard ground and release a dazzling flash of light. The bright light caused the Stromen to screech in pain, like acid was poured onto their skin.
Terrifying screeches announced the arrival of the winged Stromen. The loud whoosh of air gusting down to the earth as the winged creatures propelled themselves toward the castle. Wisps of shadows dance in the night air as they are left behind by the dark beasts.
Electricity jumped between the little wizard's fingers before he released it into the sky with a crackling roar. In a flash, the lightning arched from the castle walls to the flock of Stromen that came for an aerial attack. Covered in static charges, the Stromen plummeted to the earth in a bright display of electricity. Panting the little wizard was just about out of strength and had used up half of his arsenal of glass flash bombs.
Cracking and booms came from the heavy fortress door. The hinges threatening to rip themselves from the walls at every crushing knock. Raising up its head, so that it towered over the walls of the castle, was the largest Stromen that the little wizard had ever seen. Hidden within the shadows, was the form of a giant snake-like image. The giant Stromen reared its head back and lashed out shattering the wooden door and the stone frame that held it.
The little wizard was thrown from the high wall to the earth below. Slowly pushing himself up to his hands and knees. Looking at the earth beneath him he could see the sticky fluid that dripped from somewhere on his face. Lifting a tentative hand, he touched gently at his face to discover that his eye was now missing. Hissing filled the air and the little wizard turned to his adversary. One hand covering his missing eye and the other on his leather bag of flash bombs. He had only one chance to save the prince and it would take perfect timing.
The hints of sunrise slowly glimpsed over the horizon and in a few moments the sun would arrive and drive the vile beasts back to their dark pit. The giant Stromen leered at the little wizard and released a terrifying hiss as it lunged forward. The little wizard threw the small leather bag, half-filled with his flash bombs, into the Stromen's fang-filled mouth. Collecting a small amount of magic in his hand he flung the small orb in along with the leather bag shattering the glass flash-bombs.
The giant Stromen gave out a terrible roar of pain and thrashed back and forth. Beams of light pierced through its shadowy fleshy. The Stromen released a final roar before shattering into a downpour of white flecks. The little wizard smiled while turning to the sunrise that now drove the remaining Stromen back to their dark-filled land of Un'berd Thede. The prince of Dral'n Dema once again safe for another night.
The Little Wizard stumbled toward the castle and up the stairs leading to the prince's chamber. Leaning up against the door, he slowly pushed it open. Inside the prince still lie asleep within his large bed, completely unaware of the danger that had been lurking outside. The Little Wizard crossed the room, being careful not to step on any of the toys that lay strewn about the floor. Sitting on the edge of the bed, The Little Wizard looked down to the prince with a warm smile. His hand brushing through the brown hair that rested over the prince's eyes. “You are safe, my prince,” he said with the love that a father might have for a son. “I will never let anything harm you.” Hearing a voice calling he turned his gaze toward the door.
“Tommy,” a woman with long brown hair said knocking on the white door. “It's time to get up. You'll be late for school.” Her delicate hand grasping the gold colored handle. She gave the door a gentle push revealing the toy-cluttered room inside.
Tommy sat on his bed, the small mass of brown hair on his head sticking up in all different directions and dressed in his race car pajamas. “I wanna sleep, Mom,” Tommy said in a drowsy voice.
“Come on, Tommy,” the mother said with a sweet smile. She reached down picking up the discarded clothes the decorated the floor before tossing them into the hamper. She paused seeing Tommy's favorite toy laying on the floor. She picked up a small stuffed bear with a bright blue cape and pointed hat. “Tommy, what happened to Teddy's eye?” she asked retrieving the small shiny button from the floor.
“I don't know,” he said shuffling and rubbing his eyes.
“Well, you get dressed and I'll sew it back on later,” the Mother said handing the bear back to her son and leaving the room.
Tommy held the bear to him tightly in a loving embrace. I will keep you safe, my prince, the little wizard thought. From now until you need me no more.
I was inspired to write this story while I was putting my, then, one-year old son to bed one night and I noticed his bear sitting in the corner next to him. The thought occurred to me that stuffed animals have always been said to protect children at night from monsters. I thought, "What if they really did that during the night. In a world that no one will ever know about." To give you some insight into what every thing is, I used anagrams for a few of the words. I put them into their original words below:
Dral'n Dema = Dreamland
Stromen = Monster
Un'berd Thede = Under the bed